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Types of Solicitations

Procurement Cards (up to $5,000) can be used by City personnel to make small-dollar purchases without the intervention of the Purchasing Division.

Purchase Orders (under $10,000) can also be issued by the Purchasing Division after the department receives at least three quotations.

Informal Bids (between $10,000 and $50,000), which are unadvertised and sealed, are awarded by the City Purchasing Director to the lowest responsible and responsive bidder complying with the bid specifications.

Formal Bids (over $50,000) are advertised, sealed, and opened at a public bid opening.  A formal written contract is required for these bids after award by the City Purchasing Director.

Requests for Proposals (over $10,000) are used when price is not the only factor to be used in determining the award of a contract.  Evaluation criteria for award will be established such as experience of firm, experience of personnel assigned to project, approach to project, completeness of proposal, and ability of proposer to meet the City's needs.  An evaluation committee determines the highest ranked proposer and conducts the evaluation of proposals received.  The City Purchasing Director makes award of requests for proposals.

Vendor Contracts (any dollar threshold) are typically in place for a three-year period.  The City has realized significant benefits to using vendor contracts to procure frequently used commodities and services.  There is a quicker delivery time, reductions in inventory, less administrative costs associated with repetitive bidding, and price protection due to the City's standard escalator clause.

Bid Notifications

All vendors who wish to do business with the City of Milwaukee are invited to register for E-notify, the City's exclusive bid notification system.

Vendors may view a current list of active bids on our Current Bid Opportunities page.  Formal bids over $50,000 are also advertised publicly in the Daily Reporter, the current official newspaper of the City of Milwaukee.  A copy of a pending bid may also be obtained from the Purchasing Division upon request.

Preparation of Bids & RFP Responses

When preparing an "Invitation to Bid" or a "Request for Proposal (RFP)" response, vendors are instructed to thoroughly read all instructions on the bid/RFP form and its specifications/Scope of Services before submitting a response.  All terms and conditions applicable to the bid/RFP must also be read, since by signing the bid/RFP response, the vendor is agreeing to all the terms and conditions as referenced in the bid/RFP.  Once a bid is tabulated and evaluated, award will be made by the City Purchasing Director.  For specific instructions on submitting a bid/RFP response, please review the appropriate instructions:

Bid/RFP Response Submissions

All bid and RFP responses should be submitted electronically to the City’s Bonfire Portal found under the respective bid # identified on the Purchasing Division website under Current Bid Opportunities: https://cityofmilwaukee.bonfirehub.com/opportunities/XXXXX, before the closing date and time indicated in the Bid or RFP.  Click on the bid # to be directed to the Bonfire Portal.

Bids (not RFP responses) may also be submitted electronically via e-mail to [email protected].

If you email your bid: Bids emailed to the purchasing agent will be rejected. Bidders who choose to use email to transmit bids do so at their own risk. The City cannot and does not guarantee that emailed bids are received. Emailed bids must be received in their entirety before the bid closing time. Emailed bids must include a binding signature page that is complete and fully signed (electronic signatures are acceptable). If requested by the City, an original signed copy of the electronically submitted bid must be received by the Purchasing Division within four (4) business days. Failure to respond in four (4) business days may result in bid rejection.

All bids and RFP responses must be signed by the bidder/proposer.  Any attachments, additional pages, addenda or explanations, etc. supplied by the bidder/proposer with a bid/proposal will be considered a part of the response.  However, if additional information is supplied that conflicts with the terms and conditions stated in the bid/proposal, the bid/proposal may be rejected as a counteroffer.

Formal bids and RFPs are reviewed by Purchasing Division staff at 4:30 PM CT.

Regardless of the method used for delivery, proposers shall be wholly responsible for the timely delivery of the submitted proposals.

Should an original of a bid be requested by the Purchasing Division staff, it must be received in the Purchasing Division within five (5) business days after the request.  Failure to comply within this timeframe may result in bid rejection.

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